01/07/2021 Toby Dayton

LinkUp Forecasting Net Gain Of Just 50,000 Jobs In December

In December, unique job listings in the U.S. indexed daily directly from company websites globally rose 2.6% to 3.92M. New job openings during the month rose 8.4% to 1.38M and job listings removed from company websites rose 15.9% to 1.48M.

While labor demand in the U.S. has risen 32% since May and is nearly back to pre-COVID levels, labor demand has remained flat since October.

 

 

The same data on a daily basis presents a similar but slightly more dramatic picture with job openings actually falling 3.9% since the end of October.

 

 

 

The LinkUp 10,000, which measures U.S. job openings for the 10,000 global employers with the most job openings each month, rose 2.6% in December but  remains flat since October.

 

 

 

Hiring velocity slowed markedly in December as Average Job Duration rose from 38 days in November to 44 days in December.

 

 

 

Looking at new job openings at a state level across 3 periods in 2020 tells a very similar story to the preceding charts while also highlighting the disparity in job growth as states reacted to the pandemic in different ways.

As a side note, a nominee for best analogy of 2020 has to be Neil deGrasse Tyson who, in a Smartless podcast episode, compared the administration’s decision to leave it up to states to determine their COVID policies, as akin to having a pee section in a public pool.

In any event, between February and April, new job openings across the country fell 49%.

 

 

Between April and October, new job openings rose 99%.

 

 

And since October, new job openings have declined 5%.

 

 

For our non-farm payroll (NFP) forecast, we use paired-month data which looks at new and total job openings for a set of companies that were hiring in consecutive months – in this case November and December.

In December, new job openings fell 1.4% while total job openings fell 0.3%.

 

 

Based on our paired-month data, we are forecasting a net gain of just 50,000 jobs in December, slightly below consensus forecast for tomorrow’s jobs report.

 

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